Call for papers

19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children and Young People – ‘Cradle of Creativity’ – in Cape Town, South Africa, May 2017

International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network’s (ITYARN) Conference (16 – 17 May 2017)     &     International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People’s (ASSITEJ) Focus Days (18 – 27 May 2017 )


ITYARN in association with the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Drama for Life, based at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), invite you to submit proposals for the Conference “Cradle of Creativity: Examining intercultural exchange and diversity in theatre for young audiences in Africa and the world” in Cape Town, South Africa, 2017.

Aside from the ITYARN Conference, the ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival also includes focus-days on which additional seminars, symposia, workshops, readings and other events can take place. We invite proposals that are related specifically to the identified focus. Theatre pieces relating to these foci will also be available as part of the broader festival of theatre for young audiences.

The Focus Days :

  • Indigenous and Contemporary forms of Storytelling for Youth (18 May), in association with DFL
  • Music Theatre for Young Audiences (19 May)
  • Theatre for Social Change (20 May), in association with DFL
  • Theatre for Healing (21 May), in association with DFL
  • Theatre for Children by Children (21 May), in association with DFL
  • Dance Theatre for Young Audiences (24 May)
  • Theatre for Young Audiences in Africa (25 May), in association with ACYTA (African Children and Youth Theatre Arena)
  • Inclusive theatre (26 May), in association with IIAN (International Inclusive Arts Network)
  • Theatre for the Early Years (27 May), in association with Small Size Network
  • New Writing for Young Audiences (across the festival), in association with Write Local. Play Global


Deadline for proposals: 15th September 2016

Apply through:

Enquiries should be directed to:

Languages: The language of conference presentations will be English, as this is the working language of the association, but for plenary discussions every effort will be made to provide live translation in French or Portuguese.


The title of the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival is the ‘Cradle of Creativity’, based in Africa for the first time in ASSITEJ history. Welcoming everyone back to their autochthonous home, the Cradle of Creativity will profile Africa’s best in theatre for children and youth, alongside performances from other continents.

The convenors welcome research proposals that reflect analysis and celebration of collaborations and intercultural projects about theatre for children and youth across the world.

We have developed some thematic strands below that speak to the exciting developments in research into theatre for and with children and youth, but these are by no means fixed or isolated categories. We welcome your interweaving of themes in presenting a proposal.

Theme 1: Intercultural exchange and the child/youth in the 21st century: cultural norms and values

Theme 2: Healing/reconciliation/social change/peace through theatre

Theme 3: The challenges of childhood in the 21st century – developing creative potential through theatre

Theme 4: Resilience and arts practice

Theme 5: Processes of transformation, citizenship and social justice

Theme 6: Interdisciplinary and integrated arts for children and youth

Theme 7: Aesthetics, ethics and education in theatre/arts for children and youth

Theme 8: Theatre and cognitive science


Proposals for presentations can take the following forms:

Conference Papers, Posters, Symposiums, Panel discussions, Workshops, Pecha Kucha, Screenings


Please find further informations about the ASSITEJ World Congress, each theme and forms of proposals here: